Management Plan

Great Torrington Commons Conservators
Landscape Management Plan 2019

The Board of Conservators are preparing a management plan for the five year period from autumn 2019 to autumn 2024. Torrington Commons were formerly maintained as part of a husbandry regime based around grazing, which is no longer tenable, whilst machine cutting and removal of herbage is limited by available resources. As a consequence the Commons are gradually reverting to woodland. To a degree this has to be accepted and the current task is to determine the grassland and heathland communities that merit retention and can be effectively sustained. Recent approvals for built development, most notably the old creamery site and the former meat factory, abut the Commons and have considerable implications for landscape, wildlife and the pattern of use by local residents because of their scale. Other similar commons have either had management plans in place for some time (Tunbridge Wells) or are planning to do so (Wimbledon).

The aim of the management plan is to establish a permanent process to inform future planning and provide the framework for day-to-day maintenance operations. The plan divides Great Torrington Commons into a number of different regimes based on the type of wildlife habitat and the nature of human use. This will allow the Board, employees and the public to be aware of the basis on which the Commons are being managed and the underlying reasons. The management plan is intended as an on-going process with annual reviews and up-dating every five years. There will be a public consultation period for the draft plan running from mid April to mid May 2019 when local residents will have the opportunity to comment on the proposals. It is intended to make final amendments to the plan and formally adopt it by the end of June 2019. Information that is referred to in the management plan and is already in the public domain is set out below.

Update 18/04/2019

The Draft Landscape Management Plan prepared by the Board of Conservators is now out to full public consultation. It can be studied on-line, please follow the links below, or as bound hard copy at the Torrington Library in the Castle Hill Centre (3 copies available). The Board welcomes comments on the draft proposals, by Friday 31st May 2019 please, so that they can be taken into account during the final revisions in June 2019. Either email us at clerk.conservators@gmail.com or place in the Commons postbox in the Castle Hill Centre.